Reporting Transparency in supply chains
This section establishes a requirement that companies using gold, tin, tungsten and tantalum make efforts to determine if those materials came from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) or an adjoining country and, if so, to carry out a “due diligence” audit of their supply chain to determine whether their minerals are “conflict free” or are funding armed groups in eastern DRC.
This requirement applies to a company that uses minerals including tantalum, tin, gold or tungsten if: a) The company files reports with the SEC under the Exchange Act, and b) The minerals are “necessary to the functionality or production” of a product manufactured or contracted to be manufactured by the company.
Section 1502. Conflict Minerals.
(a) SENSE OF CONGRESS ON EXPLOITATION AND TRADE OF CONFLICT MINERALS ORIGINATING IN THE DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF THE CONGO.—It is the sense of Congress that the exploitation and trade of conflict minerals originating in the Democratic Republic of the Congo is helping to finance conflict characterized by extreme levels of violence in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo, particularly sexual- and gender-based violence, and contributing to an emergency humanitarian situation therein, warranting the provisions of section 13(p) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as added by subsection (b).
(b) DISCLOSURE RELATING TO CONFLICT MINERALS ORIGINATING IN THE DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF THE CONGO.—Section 13 of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (15 U.S.C. 78m), as amended by this Act, is amended by adding at the end the following new subsection:
‘‘(p) DISCLOSURES RELATING TO CONFLICT MINERALS ORIGI- NATING IN THE DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF THE CONGO.— ‘‘(1) REGULATIONS.— ‘‘(A) IN GENERAL.—Not later than 270 days after the date of the enactment of this subsection, the Commission shall promulgate regulations requiring any person described in paragraph (2) to disclose annually, beginning with the person’s first full fiscal year that begins after the date of promulgation of such regulations, whether conflict minerals that are necessary as described in paragraph (2)(B), in the year for which such reporting is required, did originate in the Democratic Republic of the Congo or an adjoining country and, in cases in which such conflict minerals did originate in any such country, submit to the Commission a report that includes, with respect to the period covered by the report—
‘‘(i) a description of the measures taken by the person to exercise due diligence on the source and chain of custody of such minerals, which measures shall include an independent private sector audit of such report submitted through the Commission that is conducted in accordance with standards established by the Comptroller General of the United States, in accordance with rules promulgated by the Commission, in consultation with the Secretary of State; and
‘(ii) a description of the products manufactured or contracted to be manufactured that are not DRC conflict free (‘DRC conflict free’ is defined to mean the products that do not contain minerals that directly or indirectly finance or benefit armed groups in the Democratic Republic of the Congo or an adjoining country), the entity that conducted the independent private sector audit in accordance with clause (i), the facilities used to process the conflict minerals, the country of origin of the conflict minerals, and the efforts to determine the mine or location of origin with the greatest possible specificity.
‘‘(B) CERTIFICATION.—The person submitting a report under subparagraph (A) shall certify the audit described in clause (i) of such subparagraph that is included in such report. Such a certified audit shall constitute a critical component of due diligence in establishing the source and chain of custody of such minerals.
‘‘(C) UNRELIABLE DETERMINATION.—If a report required to be submitted by a person under subparagraph (A) relies on a determination of an independent private sector audit, as described under subparagraph (A)(i), or other due diligence processes previously determined by the Commission to be unreliable, the report shall not satisfy the requirements of the regulations promulgated under subparagraph (A)(i).
‘‘(D) DRC CONFLICT FREE.—For purposes of this paragraph, a product may be labeled as ‘DRC conflict free’ if the product does not contain conflict minerals that directly or indirectly finance or benefit armed groups in the Democratic Republic of the Congo or an adjoining country.
‘‘(E) INFORMATION AVAILABLE TO THE PUBLIC.—Each person described under paragraph (2) shall make available to the public on the Internet website of such person the information disclosed by such person under subparagraph
Law / United States / Dodd-Frank Act
The Dodd-Frank Act implements a range of regulatory changes regarding financial institutions, financial transactions, consumers and companies. Relevantly, the law requires certain companies to disclose their use of conflict minerals if those minerals are “necessary to the functionality or production of a product” manufactured by those companies. Under the Act, those minerals include tantalum, tin, gold or tungsten.